Saturday, July 24, 2010

Death of a Cyclist: Alice Swanson Update

Two years after her daughter was killed while riding a bike to work, a number of things about the case gnawed at Ruth Rowan.

First, the truck driver behind the wheel of the trash truck that killed her daughter was never charged. The DC police investigation suggested 22 year old Alice Swanson was at fault: that she rode into the truck as she pedaled in the bike lane on R Street NW and the truck made a right turn. That didn’t match the findings of three experts in the civil case on Alice’s death.

But the other thing that bothered Rowan was information she says her lawyer told her about Marco Fuentes Flores, the driver of the trash truck. “The first thing my lawyer said was that there was someone named Flores who was arrested for drug trafficking.” If that were the case, Rowan wondered, what was he doing driving a truck? And it got more complicated when she says she learned that conviction led Fuentes Flores to be deported to his home country. So what was he doing back in the United States?

Federal officials apparently wondered the same thing---two years after Alice Swanson’s death, and after Rowan spoke to reporters. Channel 9 is reporting that Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested Fuentes Flores on Thursday at KMG Hauling—the very same company he worked for when he was driving the truck that killed Alice. The same firm he worked for when Rowan says he was cited 5 times in as many months for a range of traffic violations.

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